Ukraine Update #42:
Luhansk, Horlivka Jewish Communities Report 

WASHINGTON, D.C. July 29, 2014

TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, NCSEJ Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director


Ukraine Update #42


International pressure on Russia to cease its support for separatists in Eastern Ukraine continues to mount, as the U.S. and EU leaders agreed this week to impose stricter sanctions on Russia, targeting its financial, defense, and energy sectors. Negotiations on the exact details of the new round of sanctions are currently under way. In addition to targeting sectors of the Russian economy, the EU agreed to impose sanctions on eight more individuals with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Adding to bilateral tensions, the U.S. has also accused Russia of violating a 1987 U.S.-Soviet arms treaty agreement, by testing ground-launched cruise missiles. According to media reports, yesterday President Barack Obama sent a letter to President Putin raising the issue of Russia's non-compliance.


Meanwhile, Ukraine's government forces gained ground in Eastern Ukraine, while fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions intensified this week. Deaths are mounting in Donetsk, Luhansk, Horlivka, and other towns in the region. According to Ukrainian media reports, the Mayor of Luhansk has asked regional authorities to assist in creating humanitarian corridors for evacuating the civilian population.


Fighting in the region prevented international investigators yesterday and today from reaching the Malaysian plane crash site.


Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the crisis, and pledged $7 million in U.S. aid to rebuild the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where infrastructure has suffered tremendous damage. Yatsenyuk continues to work in his capacity as Prime Minister, awaiting the July 31st Rada vote to affirm or reject his proffered resignation. 


NCSEJ contacted the Jewish community of Horlivka today, where heavy fighting continues. According to community representatives, the situation in the town is alarming. Pro-Russian separatists have shelled residential neighborhoods, killing over 20 civilians.


The Jewish community representatives in Luhansk said most members of the community have left for summer family camp in Zhytomyr.


The Jewish community of Torez, a town in close proximity to the Malaysian plane crash site, said residents are staying home as heavy fighting there continues. The small local Jewish community has in the meantime ceased its programs, concerned about the general security situation.

Founded in 1971, NCSEJ represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union. 
Phone: 202-898-2500 
NCSEJ is a beneficiary of The Jewish Federations of North America and the National Federation/Agency Alliance through its network of Federations. 
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